Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

Swedes press for higher EU drinks taxes

Published:  06 July, 2009

Sweden wants to kick off its presidency of the European Union by persuading other member states to follow its lead on high alcohol taxation.

The Swedes also want to impose further restrictions on the amount of alcohol that can be imported by travellers between European states to take advantage of lower excise rates outside their home countries.

According to reports from Sweden, health minister Göran Hägglund will float the suggestions with his counterparts from other EU governments in a meeting at Jönköping on Tuesday, in an effort to reduce alcohol-related harm.

The high-duty idea stands little chance of being adopted by countries like France and Germany, who protect their domestic alcohol industries with lenient excise regimes.

And duty on wine is already higher in the UK than it is in Sweden, though Scandinavian countries are notoriously harsh when it comes to spirits taxation.

It is understood that Hägglund will attempt to negotiate an exception for Sweden on the question of personal imports, if he fails to win support for a Europe-wide policy, which would ban Swedes from buying as much alcohol from abroad and citizens in other member states.